City buses in Groningen are going fully electric, with Qbuzz investing in making all 164 buses so by December of this year.
Translation by Thomas Ansell and Traci White
The news was announced by Qbuzz on Monday. The transition to fully electric buses is expected to completed by December, according to the Groninger Internet Courant. The province of Groningen has called on the bus operator to make the change to electric, and the new buses should cut CO2emissions by around 90 percent.
As of December 2019, all 45 buses of the VDL buses operating in Emmen, Assen and Groningen will be electric, as well 60 intercity buses from Ebusco in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. An additional 59 buses on the Q-link lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 will also go electric. Q-link lines 6, 12, and 15 will eventually be converted as well.
The remaining buses, most of which are Mercedes, Setra and Van Hool double deckers, are already running on HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), which is not zero emissions but does have lower carbon emissions than traditional fuels. Two of Van Hool’s buses run on hydrogen, and there could be as many as 30 additional hydrogen-fueled buses at the company by 2020.
Qbuzz and the OV bureau presented a demonstration bus on Monday to various stakeholders. Finishing touches are currently being made to the interior and technology of the buses, and the first new bus is due to be delivered in the summer. All bus drivers will be trained to operate the new buses.
Due to the adoption of an ambitious energy agenda, bus service in both Groningen and Drenthe is set to become zero-emission (producing 90 percent less CO2) by December 2019.